We the undersigned request that South Shields born, John Simpson Kirkpatrick, of Simpson and his donkey fame be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for outstanding Valour in rescuing c300 wounded comrades making his way back and forward to the front line and beyond into no man’s land over twenty five days until he was finally shot and killed by a sniper.
Under the Imperial Award system, the Victoria Cross was denied to Simpson resulting from some confusion in the original application.
In 1915 Colonel John Monash (later General) recommended Simpson for the Victoria Cross.
In 1915, the Victoria Cross was awarded for "some signal act of valour, or devotion to country, in the presence of the enemy." Note the use of the word "signal". [Oxford Dictionary: Signal: a,n,v. 1. of marked quality or importance.] As the above diary entry suggests it seems that there may have been some confusion as those that were nominating him were looking for a single ("any one act to justify the V.C.") act when there had been so many.
In 1967 Lieutenant R.G. Casey (later Governor General, Lord Casey) who also witnessed Simpson's work together with Australian Prime Minister Holt recommended him for the Victoria Cross. The former Chief of the General Staff, Major General Brand was also named as a witness. This was also denied.
The British Government claimed that a dangerous precedent would be set. This was incorrect as the precedent had previously been set in 1907 when two posthumous awards of a Victoria Cross 28 years after the event were made.
Your petitioners request that the House of Commons do everything in their power to honour John Simpson Kirkpatrick and overturn the previous decision not to award the posthumous Victoria Cross to him.